How your hiring process might be driving your high attrition rate – and vice versa.

High attrition rates can be a major concern for businesses, and while it’s tempting to focus on internal factors when investigating the cause, the hiring process itself is often overlooked.

In the current climate of candidate and skill shortages, these issues are coming to the fore for many organisations. So, today, we’ll dive into the connection between attrition and the hiring process, how it can create a snowball effect, and what you can do about it.

Are you unintentionally misleading your new hires?

If your recruitment marketing isn’t accurate, you will likely attract the wrong candidates and/or lose the right ones.

Imagine you are car shopping with a wish list that includes a leather interior and seat warmers. These items aren’t must-haves, but when the dealer promises you these extras on top of your requirements, you buy the car. When the car arrives, it has neither.

Do you keep the car? It met all your non-negotiables, and you may have bought it anyway without the promised extras, but now you are likely disappointed.

The same reaction can happen when a candidate gets a job that simply doesn’t match the advertised role. The role might meet all their non-negotiables – salary, location, core duties, etc. But if it doesn’t deliver on all it promised, it may quickly lead to disappointment, dissatisfaction, and, ultimately, departure.

Your job ad should highlight what’s on offer in an engaging way. But it must, first and foremost, be accurate. Or, just like that car, your role will feel disappointing to new hires, and it may soon be back on the market.

Are you actively managing cultural alignment?

We often think about poor cultural fit as being synonymous with poor performance. However, cultural misalignment doesn’t always show itself as a performance deficit.

Even if a new hire performs well, they may be unhappy or unfilled where a culture mismatch exists, often resulting in a resignation. Recognising these departures as cultural misalignment can be harder without performance indicators.

However, the impact is the same – increased turnover.

Having candidates meet their team members before offering the role can help gauge cultural alignment and allow candidates to connect with their potential colleagues to make an informed decision on cultural fit.

What happens when your hiring process is impacting your attrition rates?

Many organisations will experience a snowball effect, and it’s symbiotic too. If poor hiring decisions feed your attrition rate, then eventually, your attrition rate will feed your hiring decisions.

Firstly, an escalating attrition rate can damage your employer brand and decrease the quality and quantity of your candidate pool.

Some former employees may share their experiences publicly, leading to negative feedback on platforms like Glassdoor. Others will share it within their network, and while they may have less reach, they can have a far greater impact.

With the prevalence of LinkedIn, most candidates will look to see who they know that has worked at the organisation and may reach out to them. These personal network insights can have the most impact because they aren’t faceless stranger reviews. They are first-hand experiences from a trusted source, which can heavily influence a candidate’s decision to apply for or accept a role.

Another more subtle but equally problematic issue is that high attrition can change your hiring process for all the wrong reasons.

It may tempt you to alter your screening processes, looking for different candidates. But if the issue lies in the expectations you’ve set, you’re following a red herring.

Additionally, increased pressure on internal HR or recruitment to fill an increasing number of vacancies can result in rushed hiring processes, further exacerbating attrition rates.

And, of course, mounting pressure on your remaining employees to fill the void left by so many departures can increase team dissatisfaction and lead to even more departures, so it can be a really damaging cycle.

What can be done to break the cycle?  

High attrition often stems from attracting the wrong candidates in the hiring process, emphasising the importance of accurately marketing your roles.

It is critical to ensure your HR function is adequately resourced to identify and address recruitment, engagement and retention issues too.

It is a continuous improvement journey, not a quick fix, but give your recruitment the attention, tools and resources it needs, and you will see a positive uplift in long-term outcomes.

Want to chat about how the right technology can support a better hiring process? turbo is a solution designed for the ANZ market, and we’d love to show you how it can improve your recruitment outcomes across your key recruitment metrics. Get in touch at to learn more.